Does your mouth often cause trouble between you and your husband (or between you and other people)? If you’re one of many women who end up “venting” on their husband or saying harsh words you later regret, God’s Word gives us 3 clues on how we can respond appropriately when we start to feel our anger rising.
1) Pause. Just stop. Leave the room for a moment if you need to. Don’t react in the moment because your gut-level reaction will almost always cause trouble! James 1:19 puts it this way, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” So pause before you react verbally.
2) During the pause, consult the Holy Spirit and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand how to love and respect your husband with your response. Would your husband be positively impacted by a gentle and encouraging word from you? Would your husband be more willing to make changes that you’re requesting if you showed him respect by asking him to help you understand his perspective? Philippians 2:4 says “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
3) When you’re ready to address the issue with your husband, say a silent prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to be the one speaking to your husband by using your mouth. Trust me. The Holy Spirit will come up with much better words than you ever could, and will utter those words in a much more respectful way! When speaking to his disciples, Jesus said in Matthew 10:19-20, “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
Many women struggle with following the leadership of their husbands because their men seem to be controlling, manipulative, or inconsiderate. When is it proper to submit to such “leadership” and when is it appropriate to respectfully draw a boundary?
Well, according to the Bible, a godly husband will love his wife in a selfless way (Ephesians 5:25) and will treat his wife with consideration and respect (1 Peter 3:7). These verses give us a pretty clear picture of what a godly husband looks like. As a result, it seems pretty clear that a controlling husband, one who bullies or intimidates his wife and children, is NOT behaving in the way that God intended.
I believe a wife can respectfully confront a husband who is trying to control, intimidate, bully, or manipulate her. She may need to lovingly, but firmly, establish boundaries on what she will tolerate. This might mean simply walking away when he begins to start bullying or controlling. If he continues to follow you, it could mean even leaving the home for awhile. I would add that it would be very wise to consult with other godly women, a pastor, or a counselor before moving forward in establishing boundaries. It’s always best to make sure that you are evaluating the situation clearly.
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE
The perfect gift for your husband…whether it’s Christmas, father’s day, his birthday or your anniversary….is super inexpensive. Give him the gift of respect! The Bible makes it clear that a wife is to respect her husband. This instruction is found in Ephesians 5:33 which simply says “the wife must respect her husband”, and most wives know that a man craves his wife’s respect. However, sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to communicate that respect. It’s especially difficult if your husband isn’t perfect! We naturally gravitate to focusing on what’s wrong with our men as opposed to what’s right.
I’m not saying we should ignore a husband’s blatant sin or destructive patterns. We definitely need to pray about confronting disrespectful, destructive, or immoral patterns of behavior. However, we can’t ONLY focus on his areas of weakness. Our men need to know that we believe in them. They need to know that we notice their strengths too!
A simple way to communicate respect is to voice appreciation for the big and small things your husband does for you and your family. Does he go to work each day? Tell him how much you appreciate his hard work. Does he set aside some time each day to play with the kids? Let him know how much you appreciate that. Does he refrain from stopping at the bar on the way home from work? Tell him how much you appreciate that he comes straight home to his family. A great gift you can give to your husband is your daily appreciation for all he does, and to affirm things that he actually does right! It’s a sign of respect.
Have you ever noticed a blank look on your husband’s face when you suddenly bring up a heavy topic, voice a frustration, or ask him to change a behavior? Or does your husband seem to get defensive very quickly in those moments? I’m discovering that the reason for the blank look or the immediate defensiveness is because a man thinks differently than a woman!
Women process thoughts, ideas and feelings at lightning speed. We are ready to engage in a deep conversation at the drop of a hat. We can verbalize how we feel instantaneously! Men, on the other hand, need time to process their thoughts and feelings. So…..when we suddenly bring up a deep topic, or state how we feel, or ask them to make a change in behavior, or heaven forbid, ask them how they feel, our men become like the proverbial “deer in the headlights”! Often they default to the blank look on the face or they become defensive because they feel pressured to do or say something, and they haven’t yet had a chance to think things through.
Here’s what I’m trying to learn to do. I need to bring up a concern or state my feelings on an issue and then let my husband have some breathing room to process it. I need to say “let’s talk more about this later after you’ve had a chance to think about it.” Most men need some space to process their thoughts and feelings. Maybe this is a good opportunity for us to practice patience! Ponder these two Proverbs. Proverbs 19:11 “A person’s wisdom yields patience…” Proverbs 14:29 “Whoever is patient has great understanding….”
We all inevitably go through stretches in our marriages (or with kids, finances, health, etc!) that are pretty rough on our hearts. Yes, we can persevere, pray, and trust in God during those times, and all those things are super important. But sometimes, we just plain need comfort. We need to sit in the lap of our heavenly father and have Him hold us tight.
Here is what I have discovered. Reading the Psalms slowly and out loud is like a warm embrace from my heavenly Father. As those words roll off my lips, I can almost feel His love and compassion flow over me. I sense the tenderness of His heart toward me. I gain hope once again.
Try it for yourself. I would suggest some of these Psalms: Psalm 103, Psalm 91, Psalm 34, and Psalm 37. God longs to comfort you. He loves you. As Psalm 103 says, “Our Father is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love.”
I went out to dinner with a couple girlfriends recently, and it was….ahhh…refreshing! We talked and laughed and talked some more. Words were flying around faster than a cheetah on steroids. Even though I love talking with my husband, it was so delightful to have an extended chat with some females for a change, and thus, I’ve decided to become more intentional about scheduling get-togethers with other women.
How about you? Do you have at least 2 deep friendships with other God-believing women? Do you have at least 2 women in your life who encourage you or make you laugh? We NEED each other! My husband cannot possibly meet all my relational needs. Men aren’t wired the same as women. In case you haven’t noticed. Most women need to talk about all the things happening in their lives, and we need listeners who will empathize with us! Most men are not wired to listen to a lengthy discussion and they generally aren’t wired to express a lot of empathy either. But a good female friend can fill that void for you, and you can do the same for her. We need another woman to speak sweet words of empathy and encouragement in a way that most men just don’t understand. Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
So, be intentional about making some solid female friendships. Invite a woman from church or work to coffee. Be a good listener yourself. Ask her to tell you about herself, her children, her challenges, her successes, her spiritual giftings, her hobbies. Be a good listener. You’ll be on your way to developing a good friendship.
When we face a challenge, a dilemma, or even a crisis…we tend to search high and low for the easy answer. We cry out to God, asking him to give us the magic pill that will make it all go away! We call our mom or our girlfriends and we whine and complain about the problem, hoping they will have the magical, painless answer to our situation. Well, here’s the thing. The answer isn’t easy, but it is simple. Seek God’s counsel and then actually pause to listen.
Proverbs 18:13 says “To answer before listening, that is folly and shame.” Yet, that is exactly what many of us do. We complain to God. We pray that he would magically fix our situation in the way that WE say is best, and yet, we don’t actually consult the Bible to see what guidance he has for us. We pray that God would tell us what to do about the problem, yet we don’t actually pause to listen for the Holy Spirit’s quiet whisper of guidance.
The answer is simple. Dive into God’s Word. It will guide you. Psalm 119:105 says. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ask God to give you direction through the Holy Spirit, who is our counselor. John 14:26 says (in the Amplified Bible), “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf, He will teach you all things.”
— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE
I don’t claim to be the authority on the Bible’s instruction for wives to submit to their husbands, but after spending considerable time studying God’s Word, here’s what I have come to believe on this controversial subject. God definitely plans for all of us to live under authority. I would imagine He knows this prevents chaos from breaking loose! So, in a family unit, God has placed the man as the authority, and the wife and children are under his authority. If we used a business analogy, it’s rather like your husband is the general manager who must make the major decisions on the policy and ground rules for how the business will operate.
So what does this look like for a wife? This means choosing to treat your husband respectfully and allowing your husband to lead you and your family. Instead of you jumping into to take over leadership, and instead of you deciding how everything should go, you allow your husband to lead. However, just as in a business, a wise husband will value the input and sage counsel of the wife who is usually more intimately involved with handling family matters each day.
Now, where “submitting” to your husband can go haywire is when the husband veers off course morally or Biblically. When the husband starts leading the family (or requesting the family) to engage or support wrong behavior, then the wife need not submit to such decisions. Her first allegiance is to God and His commands. God is the ultimate authority. I believe that is why the Bible includes a “qualifier” in one of the instructions for the wife to submit to her husband. It is found in Colossians 3:18, which says “the wife must submit to her husband, as is fitting in the Lord“. If your husband is asking you to do something that is not “fitting in the Lord”, I don’t believe you must submit to such leadership. I believe a wife can respectfully draw the line. In addition, it’s my belief, from studying all of God’s Word, that “submission” does not mean the wife must be a doormat who tolerates disrespectful or even abusive behavior by her husband. Such behavior by the husband is not “fitting in the Lord” either. Submission is not being a doormat.
Don’t you sometimes wish you could silence the voices in your head? You may hear the voice that runs you down and reminds you of your failures…or conversely, you may hear a voice that tells you your husband is a loser and you’re doomed to a life of misery. Either kind of thought is from the pit of hell!
We MUST examine every thought rolling around in our heads and determine whether it’s true or whether it’s a twisting of the truth that’s inspired by Satan. Remember, Satan’s mission is “to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). He wants to slowly crush you with the weight of his lies about your value, your future and your husband.
2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs us to “take every thought captive” and we really need to do that. The next time a self-deprecating thought enters your mind, stop and ask God if this is really true. (I bet it won’t be!) The next time a hopeless thought enters your mind, ask God if it’s true. (I know it won’t be!). The next time you have the thought that your husband is beyond redemption, ask God if that’s true. (Absolutely not!). It’s time we stopped believing every thought that pops into our minds! We must intentionally pause and ask God whether that thought is true or from the devil. Here’s a simple, but hugely clarifying, question to ask yourself in that moment: “Does this sound like something God would say?”
I am filled with righteous indignation today, and frankly, I’m on the war path! I keep on discovering more and more marriages that are slowly being destroyed due to pornography. The stories women tell me often reveal very similar downward spirals. Their husband’s use of porn has evolved into online sex chat rooms, actual encounters with other women, or even sex crimes. Then there’s a whole other group of women who feel unloved because their husbands rarely, if ever, want to make love to them anymore. The reason? Their husbands are busy satisfying their sexual needs with pornography and masturbation.
I say ENOUGH! It’s time that women everywhere step up with courage and dignity and declare war on pornography! Ephesians 5, verse 3 says “among you there must not even be hint of sexual immorality” and in verse 11, God instructs us “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” It’s time that all women adopt a zero tolerance standard for pornography use by their men (and themselves as well). I’m NOT saying to declare war on your husband. He is not the enemy. However, we can no longer wring our hands in defeat and stand by helplessly as our marriages and families crumble.
What should you do if your husband is viewing pornography? Respectfully, but firmly, tell him you will not tolerate that anymore. Ask him if he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stop. If he says yes, then work with him to find help. There are some great programs out there. For instance, in the Bellingham, WA area, men are being helped at Band of Brothers For Christ and another group called Prodigals. If your husband refuses to sincerely seek help or continues looking at porn, then you may have to establish a firm boundary in the relationship. You may even have to separate for a time. Take a stand, ladies! If you don’t, you and your marriage will likely end up being destroyed.